Teenager from Dagenham among motorbike robbery gang jailed for total of 20 years
- Credit: MPS
A teenager from Dagenham is one of three thieves starting jail terms totalling 20 years for a series of violent street robberies using and stealing high-power motorbikes.
George Fitzgerald, a 17-year-old from Goresbrook Road, has landed five years behind bars for his part in the spate of street crimes.
The judge refused Fitzgerald his right to juvenile anonymity when he appeared in the dock at Southwark Crown court yesterday. Fitzgerald had admitting five robberies at an earlier hearing.
Gang leader Thomas McDermott, 24, from Queen’s Park in west London, was given 12-and-a-half years for conspiracy to commit robbery, seven thefts and two attempted motorbike thefts.
Another gang-member, Hisham Tawfik, 20, also from Queen’s Park, was sentenced to three years for seven thefts and two attempted thefts.
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Crime Squad officers began the hunt for the gang after a spate of motorbike thefts and so-called ‘moped enabled’ robberies across central London over six months between December, 2016, and last June.
“We’re pleased to put these three behind bars for their brazen crimes,” Crime Squad Det Con Vic Barkes said after yesterday’s sentencing. “I’m convinced that the public will be all the safer for it.”
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Fitzgerald and McDermott were on a stolen motorcycle in St John’s Wood when they attacked a 35-year-old man and took his Rolex watch at knifepoint before making off, the court heard.
Fitzgerald also waited on a getaway stolen machine during a street robbery in Chelsea when a 45-year-old woman was attacked by McDermott knocking her to the ground and stealing her watch at knifepoint. Both made off when members of the public ran to help the woman.
McDermott and Tawfik would go on ‘scouting’ trips looking for high-value motorbikes parked in bays, then change into bikers’ gear with face masks and return to break the steerling lock of a bike to steal it. Members of the public were threatened with knives and angle-grinders in one brazen attempt in Soho to steal a bike.
Fitzgerald was arrested last June at an address in Queen’s Park in possession of clothes he and McDermott had worn during their robberies. He pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy to rob.
McDermott, who was on remand for other offences, admitted conspiracy to rob. He and Tawfik also admitted nine charges of theft and attempted theft.